Howson waiting to hear the right offer for Nash

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson continues to talk and listen. With the NHL trade deadline looming next Monday, Howson hasn’t heard what he wants to hear.

“We’re waiting for the right deals,” Howson said. “We’re getting closer. But we’re not there yet.”

The Blue Jackets have two of the higher-profile forwards on the market. They’re listening to offers for captain Rick Nash and openly shopping Jeff Carter.

Howson has met with Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren and Toronto GM Brian Burke in the past week to discuss possibilities, but Boston, Los Angeles and the New York Rangers also are said to be interested in Nash and/or perhaps others on the Jackets’ roster.

The market is slow, Howson acknowledged, but all it takes is one deal to accelerate an arms race.

If the Bruins, second in the Eastern Conference standings, make a deal for a forward, the first-place Rangers or fifth-place Flyers could be forced to up the ante.